Dear Friend,

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will lead a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting to vote on legislation I introduced, the Secure and Protect Act of 2019

My legislation closes gaps in current law that have led to a massive influx of migrants from Northern Triangle countries – Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – who are traveling to the United States, seeking out Border Patrol agents, turning themselves in, and claiming asylum.

Under current law, migrants traveling with children can only be detained for 20 days before they must be released, even if their asylum or other immigration claims are still pending. And with a massive backlog of asylum cases overloading the system, the majority of asylum petitions cannot be processed in time. In turn, immigrants are released into the United States free and clear. 

The asylum issue at our border is a relatively new problem and the current process used to handle asylum claims is being abused by smugglers and migrants.  My legislation will address this problem and has the support of the Trump Administration.

Highlights of the legislation:

  • Asylum applications from residents of the Northern Triangle or countries that border it would be filed at refugee processing centers – not in the United States. These centers would be established in Central America and Mexico. 
  • Modify U.S. law to allow families to be held together for longer than the 20 days currently allowed by the Flores decision.    
  • Appoint 500 new immigration judges to reduce the current backlog of cases.
  • Unaccompanied minors (UAC) from Central America would be treated the same as minors from Canada and Mexico. This would allow the United States to return all UAC to their country of origin after screening. 

Finally, I recently traveled to our southern border with Vice President Mike Pence and several of my Senate colleagues.  We met with Border Patrol agents and other immigration officials who are dealing with the disaster at our border.  I am proud of the service of these individuals and believe they are doing a tremendous job under incredibly tough circumstances. 

Thank you for contacting my office and please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family on this or any other issues affecting our nation.


Lindsey O. Graham
United States Senator

You can watch the Thursday meeting at 10:00 am online at or on Facebook at